I know I just posted a cranberry recipe, but I can’t help myself! Cranberry season is too short to let it slip by without some love. Plus, they’re so festive this time of year with their pretty red selves, just waiting to be dolled up. So, here they are again, all dolled up in this vegan cranberry-apple crisp.
Confession: for most of my life I snubbed any dessert that wasn’t chocolate. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!? I can’t remember the exact moment when I finally became sane, but it was probably around the time I started baking seriously. Thank goodness. Because as it turns out, fruit desserts are good! (Except not in ice cream. Don’t ever put fruit in my ice cream.) I never would have known how good a cranberry-apple crisp could be had I not turned the corner from that dark side of chocolate-only desserts.
I teach gluten and dairy-free cooking classes with a local holistic chiropractor, and our latest class focused on holiday sides and desserts. How could I possibly not try to develop a recipe with cranberries for this class? I thought this was a fun way to feature an old classic in a new way. We sampled this dessert in class and people oohed and aahed. It’s a keeper.
This vegan cranberry-apple crisp is gluten, grain and refined sugar free. But don’t let that make you think for one moment that it is boring or bland. This crisp is packed full of so many delicious flavors, spices and textures! I used a mixture of pecans, almond flour, coconut and non-dairy butter, along with some spices, to make the topping. I put a double whammy of spices in both the filling and the topping and added ginger to add just a touch of spiciness. The topping gets crispy and crunchy and absolutely delightful with baking. This crisp achieved the perfect balance of sweet and sour, and is sweetened with maple syrup and nothing more. You can eat this crisp and actually feel good about having dessert.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you have a blessed, safe and beautiful holiday season.
Side note: Cranberry season is short. When cranberry season is coming to an end, grab a few (or ten) bags of cranberries and throw them in your freezer. They freeze beautifully and then you can pull them out any time you have a hankering for apple-cranberry crisp!
Vegan Cranberry-Apple Crisp
- 6 cups apples (about 8 medium), peeled, cored and chopped into 1” chunks
- 12 ounces cranberries (3 cups) fresh or frozen
- ½ cup canned coconut milk
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour or 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 8 tablespoons non-dairy butter or coconut oil
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup pecans very finely chopped (if not using a food processor)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¾ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13” pan and set aside.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl combine the apples, cranberries coconut milk and maple syrup and mix well. Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt and mix again. Spread the apples and liquid into the prepared pan.
- Make the topping: In a large bowl combine all the butter and almond flour and use a pastry blender to cut in the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and use your hands or a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine. Alternatively, put all ingredients in a food processor and process until pecans are finely ground and thick. The mixture should be like a crumbly paste. Dollop the topping over the apple mixture and cover the apples.
- Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork and the mixture is bubbling. If the topping starts to brown too much, put tin foil over the top to prevent burning. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy! Serve with coconut whipped cream or dairy free ice cream.
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